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Africa

Islamist militants kill second Somali lawmaker in 24 hours

© AFP (archive photo)

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-22

The al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for shooting dead a Somali lawmaker on Tuesday, just one day after assassinating another politician with a car bomb.

Dahir Amin Jesow said fellow member of parliament Abdiasis Mursal was killed outside his house in the capital Mogadishu’s Madina district.

“Men with pistols hit him with several bullets in the chest and in the head. He died on the spot,” Jesow said.

Al Shabaab said the killing was intended to send a message to the country’s Western-backed President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was due to wrap up a three-day conference on improving security in Mogadishu on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

“This proves that they cannot and will never do anything about security ... More serious killings are on the way,” said al Shabaab’s military spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab.

Two decades of civil war

Somalia’s two decades of civil war and lawlessness, triggered by the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991, has already destabilised the region.

Western nations fear Somalia could sink further into chaos and provide a major launch pad for Islamist militancy.

Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed said the violence would not deter his government from securing peace.

“The use of terror ... only serves to unite and strengthen our resolve,” he said.

Al Shabaab had said Monday’s killing of a lawmaker with a car bomb was meant to punish politicians who backed the “invasion of the Christians into Somalia”, a reference to the support Mogadishu receives from Western governments and African Union countries who have sent in troops to battle the rebels.

Al Shabaab was pushed out of the capital in 2011 but has since waged a bombing campaign in a bid to overthrow the government and impose its strict version of Islamic law.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-04-22

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